Pasta Alioli with lobster

(originally made 4/2011)

A few weeks ago DH and I picked up some giant lobsters, had them steamed and broke them down.    So far, I've made him lobster pie, lobster mac n cheese and still there is more lobster to be eaten.   Yesterday he asked if I could make a pasta based dish with a creamy sauce with lobster and I googled to see what I could find.   
I found this recipe on The Skinny Gourmet, and it fit the bill perfectly.     Since DH didn't care if it was calorie friendly or not, I eyeballed the measurements.  He is not a fan of heat, so I stuck with just fresh cracked black pepper and skipped the red pepper flakes.   I used fat free half and half because it's what I have on hand.   I doubled the amount of parmesan cheese and added it directly to the sauce.    Once the pasta was ready I added it and the lobster to the sauce and tossed it to coat.      I had to snap pics quick because he wanted to eat and it really doesn't do the dish justice.   Tim gave it two thumbs up and it's gone into the favorites file.  

Be sure to check out the blog, lots of great stuff there!

* Exported from MasterCook *

                        Pasta alioli with lobster

Serving Size  : 2   

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
  1         Tablespoon  butter
  1         Tablespoon  olive oil
  4             cloves  garlic
  1                     dried red chili or red pepper flakes to taste (omitted)
  4          teaspoons  half and half (used fat free)
  1         Tablespoon  Parmesan cheese  (used a generous 2T)
  4                 oz  spaghetti
  6                 oz  lobster -- shrimp or crab meat (used lobster)
                        Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Put two pots of salted water on to boil (one for the lobsters, one for the pasta). When water boils, add pasta to one and lobsters to the other.

Add butter and olive oil to a saute pan and heat over medium heat. While heating, finely chop the garlic.

When butter has melted, add the chopped garlic and the whole dried red chili or the red pepper flakes. The heat of the oil will activate the oils in the pepper to bring out the flavor, and the pepper will infuse the oil. Cook over medium heat until garlic is golden and fragrant. Do not allow the garlic to burn: if cooking too quickly, lower heat.

When garlic is golden, reduce heat to low. Add the half and half. Tilt the pan to mix the half and half in with the oil and butter.

When pasta is al dente, remove from heat and strain. Do not rinse. If using a whole dried chili, remove the chili before combining with pasta. Return the pasta to the pot it was boiled in. Pour the alioli sauce over the pasta. Toss to coat.

When lobsters are bright red and begin to float to the top of the pot, remove the pot from the heat. If you are not quite ready to serve yet, allow the lobsters to remain in the warm water until you are ready to plate them to keep the meat warm. Just before serving, remove the whole lobsters from the water. On a stable cutting block, use a large knife to cut off the tail. Then use the knife to crack a slit along the long side of the softer exoskeleton on the underside of the tail (if the tail is curved, the underside is the inside part of the "C" of the curve). You can serve the lobster in the tail alongside the pasta or remove the lobster meat and serve it on top a bed of the pasta.

Grate a few turns of fresh Parmesan cheese or some other pungent cheese. That way, instead of the cheese disappearing into the sauce, you get a few mouthfuls where the cheese is really present mixed in with a few mouthfuls that focus more on the sauce itself.

You can optionally serve some warm butter and garlic in small dishes for dipping the lobster. This is a bit decadent and totally makes my day. If you opt for this, provide approximately 1 tablespoon of melted butter per person. I like to sit a cup with the butter on top of the lobsters after I have removed them from the fire to slowly melt the butter with no fuss. But then again, when I made this in Ghana I didn't have a microwave, so feel free to use your own favorite butter-melting method.



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